The road to Omaha continues this weekend for the 16 programs who won they regionals last week. The regionals and super regionals provide an incredible learning opportunity for players hoping to play at the next level. We’ve written articles before about how to approach watching the CWS, but here are a few quick points for you to think about as you watch the teams duking it out for CWS bids this weekend.
Tip 1: Player Comparisons
Pick out your style of player. If you’re a small middle-infielder, find one with the same style of game. If you’re a soft-throwing lefty, find a guy to watch (if you can!). Pay close attention to the way that these elite players approach the game. How do they fit into the lineup? How do they make their team better? What skill set do they have? Figure out what parts of your game you need to work on by watching these players. They have figured out a way to be successful in college. Learn from them.
Tip 2: Team Philosophy
Pick out your style of team. Recognize that each program takes a different approach to winning. Depending on field dimensions, personnel, etc. some programs will emphasize a certain style of game, while some will take a different approach. Do you want to play for a scrappy team that looks to play small ball (that will be hard to find this year!)? Do you want to play for the team that stands in and takes their hacks, or maybe the team that everyone views as #1 in the country? You don’t necessarily have to pinpoint a program that you want to play for, but get familiar with the different styles of play, and think about how they best fit with your game and vise-versa.
Tip 3: Regional Styles
Pick a location. Take a look at the teams that are in the tournament. Has your dream always been to be on the west coast to play ball? Watch the California teams. Do you want to move to the South? Watch a team from the SEC. Look at their individual styles of play. How does your skill set fit into their approach?
Tip 4: Coaching Style
Watch and listen to the coaches. Understand that the coaches are all on their best behavior when talking to the national news. That being said, these coaches have led their teams to the tournament, so they’re obviously doing something right. Having a good relationship with your coach is a key step to having a good college baseball experience. This is a good way to get some experience listening to the way that coaches talk about and approach the game.
Tip 5: Winning Ways
Figure out what winning teams do. Watch the way that the team works. Do they fight for every run? Do they pick it clean in the field and try to scrape by at the plate? Does the team rely on one guy, or is it a whole team effort? These teams have been successful all year. They’re in the tournament for a reason. And yet you’ll still be able to see that some teams are clearly better than others. What makes them better? Try to spot the winning qualities of a college baseball team. If you can show a college coach that you can help a team win in some way, you will have shown that coach the most valuable asset a player can possess.
We say it often, but watching college baseball in person or online is one of the best ways to prepare for and gauge your readiness for the next level. Watch the super regionals this weekend with a purpose and they’ll help you get better as a player and a recruit!